Sportsman Extravangza

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 11, 2011

Tony Ruiz with a nice trophy

Former Primos star will keynote at Extravaganza

By Billy Davis

The first-ever North Mississippi Sportsman’s Extravaganza is expected to draw a crowd of hunters and fishermen Saturday to the Batesville Civic Center.

Bow hunters can test their skills with a 3-D shoot and children can enter a BB gun shoot and greased pig chase throughout the day.

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A Big Buck Contest, 4×4 truck contest and a coon-treeing contest are among other planned activities, all free and all continuing throughout Saturday.

Admission to the Extravaganza is $5 for adults. Admission is free for children ages 16 and younger.

Doors open at 9 a.m. Attendees can come and go throughout the day with a ticket stub in hand.

A daylong list of speakers will culminate when Troy Ruiz, well-known hunter and outdoor television producer, speaks at 6 p.m.

Ruiz is part of the “Headhunters” hunting program that is set to premiere on The Outdoor Channel this summer.

He may be best known for his appearances on the Primos hunting shows, alongside Will Primos and others.

Ruiz, of Jackson, is also a committed Christian and is set to give testimony about his faith.

The Sportsman’s Extravaganza follows nine months of planning from organizers at six Panola County churches, said co-organizer Chad Williams.

Saturday’s event evolved from an original plan for churches to host an area-wide wildgame supper, he said.

When the organizers came together, a desire to reach the un-churched merged with the hunters’ vision of an outdoor show, “and here’s where we landed,” Williams said of the Extravaganza.

The co-organizers represent Baptist churches Calvary, First Baptist, Liberty Hill, Locke-Station, and Pope, as well as non-denominational church, Hosanna Family Worship Center, in Pope.  

Numerous businesses and churches have donated funds and door prizes for the event, said co-organizer Ken Williams.

The Miss. Baptist Convention Board donated $2,000 to help pay for the Extravaganza, he said.

Door prizes will be given away throughout the day, with a prized turkey shotgun and Hoyt brand bow given away after Ruiz speaks at six o’clock.  

In addition to Ruiz, other scheduled speakers are:

•Gwin Jackson, of Panola County. The only local face on the schedule, Jackson has drawn crowds to his recent jig-tying seminars at the North Miss. Fish Hatchery at Enid. He will demonstrate custom-tied jigs at 11:30.

Jackson, who attends Hosanna, is also one of the co-organizers of the Extravaganza.

 •Kevin Drewry, with Mallard Manor Ministries. He is assistant manager-camp director of the hunting camp located in Drew.

Drewry’s seminar, at 1:30, is aimed at youth and children.

•Greg Hood, of Grenada, will demonstrate his Hoodwink Game Calls at 1 p.m.

•Professional angler Mark Rose, part of the Pro Staff with War Eagle Boats, will speak at 4 p.m.